14 Dec 1999
Posting by IL & COH to The Daily Grail
[Prepared in response to the following question posted on the site: "I understand that in the book Giza: The Truth, the authors discuss "sonic levitation" as a real possibility. Is there any chance that they could elaborate on this via TDG? Best regards, Wayne Van Kirk"]
We are happy to elaborate a little, since this is another subject about which we think some serious debate is perhaps overdue, and our thanks go to Wayne for highlighting it.
Our readers will be aware that our research for Giza: The Truth led us to come out in favour of the orthodox explanations as to when the Giza pyramids were built (c. 2500 BC) and why (primarily as funerary edifices, but accepting that there was a great deal of esoteric symbolism and ritual involved). As to how they were built, we feel that there is no conclusive evidence in the pyramids themselves which requires us to look outside of essentially orthodox explanations, even in the "worst" case of the 70-tonne granite blocks which had to be dragged up (in our view via a spiral ramp) to between one third and one half of the height of the Great Pyramid to form the ceilings/floors of the King's and Relieving Chambers. Nor do we feel that the logistics of Khufu building the Great Pyramid in something like 20 years - or even his father Sneferu's achievement of erecting three sizeable pyramids in a similar period - were impossible, or required anything other than massive commitment and dedication to a national cause, and superb project management skills. This is notwithstanding our boundless admiration for the quality of the workmanship, and our acceptance that, for example, tube drills were used with great skill - albeit that we do not believe at this stage that these tools were powered by anything other than human or animal labour; (for more on the "advanced technology" issues refer to our ongoing debate with Chris Dunn which will be posted on both our web sites shortly).
Readers will also be aware that we have provided a thorough analysis of the issues relating to many of the other "alternative" theories, such as the redating of the Sphinx and the Orion correlation, and ultimately we believe these too to be fatally flawed - not from any ideological perspective, merely because we do not believe that the evidence in these cases supports the hypothesis.
However there are two areas in which we might be said to depart from the orthodox line. The first is that of acoustics, where ongoing work by researchers such as John Reid is suggesting that the ancient Egyptians had a highly advanced understanding of acoustic properties and design - although we feel it is critical that such theories be evaluated in the context of, for example, other 4th Dynasty pyramids such as those at Dashur, as opposed to concentrating exclusively on the Great Pyramid and to a lesser extent its counterparts at Giza. And the second is that of sonic levitation - which is clearly not entirely unrelated.
To elaborate further, many of the huge limestone monoliths which form the core of the walls of the surviving mortuary and valley temples on the Giza Plateau are acknowledged by Egyptologists to weigh as much as 200 tonnes. This is a different order of magnitude again from the largest 70-tonne blocks in the Great Pyramid (or any other). Although the orthodox school has been happy to deliberate at length on the use of ramps etc to erect the pyramids, these larger temple monoliths have tended to be swept under the carpet by them. (For example, in the otherwise excellent reference works such as Edwards' The Pyramids of Egypt and Lehner's The Complete Pyramids, whole chapters are devoted to construction methods but the temples are ignored.) If we are to be totally honest and unbiased in our analysis, this is not acceptable just because it raises uncomfortable questions.
We are not qualified engineers. However, within the constraints of the tight time limits imposed when we were writing and researching the book - and despite our reasonable satisfaction with the logistics etc. of pyramid construction - we were unable to rationally explain the use of such massive blocks in the temples. Remember that the layout of these edifices is completely different. Suppose you could erect a presumably straight ramp of sufficiently dense material - and we have heard it suggested that once we are dealing with these kind of weights, only a ramp made of solid stone itself would not collapse - in order to drag these blocks up to the second and third courses of the temples. You need at a conservative estimate something like 600 men to drag a 200-tonne block (this estimate of a third of a tonne per man seems reasonably sound from experiments when slopes are involved). Irrespective of how many columns they are arranged in, where do they go when they get to the top of the ramp? There is no huge flat platform awaiting them as there is in a pyramid. So perhaps after each pull the lead line jumps down the other side, although this is hardly an ideal situation for pulling one's weight effectively! But what about once the opposite wall, or an intermediate partition wall, is in place? The size of these edifices is simply not sufficient, at least in some cases, for such obstructions not to be encountered well before the column of men had completed their hauling. So then we might suggest that the interiors were completely filled in with sand or whatever in order to provide a flat platform for the men to continue their hauling. But it seemed to us when we were researching this topic, and it still does, that once you get to this stage you are clutching at straws in your attempts to provide an "orthodox" explanation. Occams Razor is certainly no longer at work.
Accordingly we felt that the question posed correctly and legitimately by the alternative school had not been satisfactorily answered - that is that even if you can come up with an orthodox solution as to how these blocks were erected, it would be so convoluted and difficult that the further question remains: why on earth would the builders make life SO difficult for themselves? Despite the fact that we know they had a different view of time and effort, and that one craftsman might have spent his entire life carving and perfecting a single hard-stone bowl or statue, the use of these massive blocks seems a different proposition. Perhaps if we knew that symbolically such size had huge significance, we might have some sort of answer. But no-one as far as we are aware has suggested any reason why this should be the case.
This analysis is in our view strengthened when we cast our net further afield. People always ask us about Stonehenge, and say they have seen documentary reconstructions of how the pillars and lintels were erected with ropes and pulleys. Of course this is no problem, even though it shows a reasonably high degree of sophistication, because these stones weigh no more than 40-tonnes and there is plenty of room to work. The same is true of the 200-tonne obelisks erected by Queen Hatshepsut - they are heavier, but again there is plenty of room to work when we are dealing with single free-standing pillars. Contrast this with the three megaliths built into an ancient original wall at the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek in the Lebanon - each weighs a staggering 800 tonnes, and they lie on the sixth course! There are of course similar examples all over the ancient world.
We are not suggesting that there is no possible "orthodox" explanation for the erection of these structures. Merely that we have yet to come across one which is detailed and rational. Since we cannot as yet think of one ourselves, we admit the possibility that the ancient builders had some lifting "technology" available to them which we in the modern world have yet to rediscover. The only one we felt worthy of serious consideration was some form of sonic levitation, for several reasons. First, because it fits well with the possibility that the ancient Egyptians had an advanced understanding of acoustics. Second, because fellow researchers like Andy Collins have put valuable work into highlighting the possible references to sonic levitation of stones in ancient texts from around the world, and also in the descriptions of several European travellers in the 1930's who reported seeing such phenomena demonstrated by Tibetan monks chanting and playing various drums and symbols. Third, because research by modern scientists, such as Tom Danley in the US, is starting to move in the same direction with some positive results, albeit that possible proof of ancient techniques is not the prime motivation and that the objects involved are only pea-sized. And finally, because at some basic level way beyond the authors' current technical or esoteric understanding, we do believe that the interaction of acoustics and the human psyche in the harnessing of natural energy sources probably does have a far-reaching potential that modern man rarely, and usually only unconsciously, exploits.
We do not believe for one moment that we have the answers as to how the Giza temples, or the other structures we have mentioned, were erected. As individuals we are not in any case best qualified to judge. However we do believe that, unlike many of the "alternative" debates surrounding Ancient Egypt and the Ancient World in general which are arguably spurious and have received more than their fair share of attention especially in recent years, this is one which has yet to be given the attention it deserves. We would welcome feedback from any of you out there who can constructively add to this debate, either through The Daily Grail, or by contacting us direct using the email addresses given below.
Of course, notwithstanding this brief summary, there is no substitute for reading what we have written in Giza: The Truth in full!
24 Mar 2000
Extract from email from correspondent Håkan Håkansson, of the Department of Cultural Sciences at Lund University, reappraising the work of Henry Kjellson as referenced in G:TT
You refer to the Swedish engineer and aeroplane constructor Henry Kjellson (1891-1962) in connection with the possibilities of 'sonic levitation'. I haven't had the opportunity to read Andrew Collins' book, from which you seem to have drawn the information, but in the 1960s Kjellson earned a reputation as something of a Swedish Erich von Däniken. In his 'Sju nätter på Cheopspyramidens topp' ('Seven nights on the crest of the Great Pyramid') Kjellson describes how he by means of a 'Tibetan breathing technique', performed, yes, on the top of the pyramid, was able to communicate with the spiritual side of our existence, which guided him in his quest for the truth behind the pyramids - which seems to have been that they served as 'laboratories' or possibly 'nuclear reactors' 30,000 years ago. How this is compatible with his conclusion that the human race at that time was a 'race of giants' - evident, he notes, from both the Bible and the height of ancient temple doors - is not entirely clear, since this implies, as he correctly points out, that the builders were too tall to enter the pyramids once they had built them. In any case, he claimed to have found traces of radium in the pyramid, proving that it had served as a nuclear storeroom until Moses eventually stole the radium and brought it away to Jerusalem in the Holy Ark.
The book 'Lost Technology' ('Försvunnen Teknik'; the title given in your book seems to be a Norwegian translation) in which he describes 'some ancient Tibetan technologies' is more or less in the same spirit. Here, however, the spiritual guidance has been replaced by anonymous friends whose eye-witness accounts have been as hard to verify as the existence of the friends themselves. The story of 'Dr. Jarl' is a strange tale of how this doctor of medicine in Cairo was visited by some mysterious Tibetans who brought him to an unknown Himalayan monastery, at which, it turned out, an old friend from his Oxford days had become abbot. Obviously the monks were in need of medical help from this Swedish doctor, despite their ability to travel in time and space, to create unknown substances ex nihilo, and to mentally project huge moving pictures on the walls, on which past events could be seen 'just as on a television screen'. The chapters dealing with 'sonic levitation' describe perfectly traditional ritualistic instruments and Kjellson's 'scientific analysis' of how these instruments might have worked is on the verge of unintentional travesty: to lift a 6.3 ton block of stone 250 metres in 3 minutes requires 117 horsepower, but since a human being on the average can produce only 0.75 horsepower, the thirty drummers and trumpeters aren't sufficient unless the instruments can 'provide a superhuman power' - which they obviously do in some inexplicable manner. How the sound actually creates the necessary underpressure to lift the stones is left to the imagination, and the film 'Dr. Jarl' claims to have taken of this technique put into practice has, of course, never been shown to anyone, not even to Kjellson.